Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration Named Best in the U.S.

Bristol Fourth of July takes runner-up spot

Fourth of July, Independence Day, America's Birthday – whatever you call it, July 4 celebrations have become a summer pastime that involves fireworks, flags and time spent outdoors. We asked our team of 10Best Local Experts to nominate their favorite 4th of July festivals from coast to coast, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting daily for their favorites.

  • Lights on the Lake Fireworks
    Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev.

    Rated by the American Pyrotechnics Association as one of the best fireworks shows in the country, Lights on the Lake Fireworks illuminates the waters of South Lake Tahoe each 4th. There are plenty of free viewing spots in the area, but visitors can opt to watch the show from the water aboard the Tahoe Queen or M.S. Dixie II paddlewheelers or, for a truly memorable experience, from a Reno-Tahoe Helicopter flight.
    Photo courtesy of Tahoe South

  • Ralphie's Independence Day Blast
    Boulder, Colo.

    Ralphie's Independence Day Blast began in Boulder in 1941, and today, thousands of spectators gather at University of Colorado’s Folsom Field for free live entertainment, a patriotic sing-a-long and Boulder's largest fireworks display.
    Photo courtesy of Ralphie's Independence Day Blast

  • 4th of July Extravaganza
    Grand Lake, Colo.

    The entire town of Grand Lake gets in on the Independence Day action each 4th. Many restaurants host live music throughout the day, and family-friendly activities are staged throughout town. Once it gets dark, festival goers can watch colorful fireworks explode over Colorado's largest natural lake.
    Photo courtesy of 4th of July Extravaganza

  • Old Fashioned 4th
    Oak Harbor, Wash.

    An Old Fashioned 4th in Oak Harbor on Washington's Whidbey Island kicks off the day with a grand parade followed by a fireworks display in the evening. The city will also host a 4th of July carnival throughout the weekend, with plenty of family-friendly fun for those traveling with little ones.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show
    San Diego

    During San Diego's annual Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show, fireworks are launched from four barges anchored in San Diego Bay. Visitors have their choice of viewing points, including Shelter Island, Seaport Village, the Marina District or the Coronado Ferry Landing. Hornblower Yachts and Flagship Cruises over viewing opportunities from the water.
    Photo courtesy of Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show

  • Let Freedom Sing! July 4 in Music City
    Nashville

    Music City celebrates our nation's birthday with free live music on two stages, Ascend Amphitheater and The Green at Riverfront Park. A free Family Fun Zone offers plenty of action for young celebrants, and the fireworks display, set to a live performance by the Nashville symphony, ranks among the best in the nation. Sheryl Crow headlines the 2016 music lineup.
    Photo courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

  • Addison Kaboom Town!
    Addison, Texas

    Addison's July 4th celebration, aptly named Kaboom Town!, brings in half a million visitors from around the nation to enjoy food, live music, Cavanaugh Flight Museum's warbird flyovers and a spectacular 30-minute fireworks display choreographed to music.
    Photo courtesy of Addison, Texas

  • Fair St. Louis
    St. Louis

    Fair St. Louis calls itself America's Biggest Birthday Party, and this massive event hosted at Forest Park is free to the public. Fourth of July weekend festivities include live music, educational activities and air shows, culminating in a nightly fireworks display. Flo Rida is headlining in 2016.
    Photo courtesy of Roger Popwell for Fair Saint Louis

  • Bristol Fourth of July
    Bristol, R.I.

    Bristol Fourth of July has roots dating back to 1785, when a local Revolutionary War vet began conducting patriotic exercises at the First Congregational Church. Today, those exercises have evolved into a popular parade, as well as a concert series, drum corps show, firefighter muster and a Fourth of July Ball. Events kick off on Flag Day (June 14) and continue on through July 4th.
    Photo courtesy of Bristol Fourth of July / Facebook

  • Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration
    Brunswick, Ga.

    Mary Ross Waterfront Park in historic downtown Brunswick hosts the annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, a free event that includes free games and activities, free South Georgia watermelon and a free 30-minute fireworks display over the East River and Oglethorpe Bay.
    Photo courtesy of Golden Isles Arts & Humanities

The top 10 winners in the category Best 4th of July Festival are as follows:

  1. Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration - Brunswick, Ga.
  2. Bristol Fourth of July - Bristol, R.I.
  3. Fair St. Louis - St. Louis
  4. Addison Kaboom Town! - Addison, Texas
  5. Let Freedom Sing! July 4 in Music City - Nashville
  6. Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show - San Diego
  7. Old Fashioned 4th - Oak Harbor, Wash.
  8. 4th of July Extravaganza - Grand Lake, Colo.
  9. Ralphie's Independence Day Blast - Boulder, Colo.
  10. Lights on the Lake Fireworks - Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev.

Other nominated festivals included AC 4th of July Fireworks, Bend's Old Fashioned July 4th Festival & Pet Parade, Harborfest & Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, Go 4th on the River in New Orleans, Highlands Independence Day Celebration, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, National Mall Fourth of July Celebration, San Francisco's 4th of July Celebration at The PIER, Sonoma's Old-Fashioned 4th of July Parade & Celebration and Wawa Welcome America! in Philadelphia.

Congrats to all our winning festivals. Happy Independence Day!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo

Alert The Experts

10Best Local Experts

10Best Local Experts